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Tuesday, Aug 22nd

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'Most bizarre dinosaur ever found' is missing evolutionary link – study

Most bizarre dinosaur ever foundAn unusual vegetarian dinosaur with the silhouette of a flesh-ripping velociraptor, whose fossilised remains were unearthed in southern Chile 13 years ago, is a missing link in dinosaur evolution, researchers have said.

A revised assessment of the kangaroo-sized Chilesaurus diegosuarezi , reported in the journal Biology Letters, bolsters a theory unveiled earlier this year that threatens to upend a long-standing classification of all dinosaurs.

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U.S. scientists fix disease genes in human embryos for 1st time

US scientists fix disease genes in human embryosFor the first time, scientists working in a U.S. lab have used gene editing to correct a disease-causing mutation in viable human embryos, according to scientific paper published Wednesday.

The work, reported in Nature, could be a step toward genetically modified babies. But the altered embryos created in the study were quickly destroyed and never intended to be implanted in a woman — a step that would be illegal under current regulations in the United States and many other countries.

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Astronomers offer new evidence of hidden ninth planet

Evidence of ninth planetAstronomers have amassed more evidence of a ninth planet hiding in the outer solar system.

Last month, researchers published a study suggesting the unique tilt of the orbital planes of several rings of rocks in the Kuiper Belt could be explained by the presence of a ninth planet.

However, subsequent research showed the skewed distribution of the orbital paths of trans-Neptunian objects, or TNOs, could also be explained by observation bias -- no ninth planet necessary.

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Under pressure, Western tech firms bow to Russian demands to share cyber secrets

Western techs to give cyber secrets to RussiaWestern technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyber attacks on the West, a Reuters investigation has found.

Russian authorities are asking Western tech companies to allow them to review source code for security products such as firewalls, anti-virus applications and software containing encryption before permitting the products to be imported and sold in the country. The requests, which have increased since 2014, are ostensibly done to ensure foreign spy agencies have not hidden any "backdoors" that would allow them to burrow into Russian systems.

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Molecule essential to life found near newborn sun-like stars

Molecule essential to life found near new starsTwo teams of astronomers have discovered methyl isocyanate, an organic compound and chemical building block for life, surrounding newborn sun-like stars.

"This family of organic molecules is involved in the synthesis of peptides and amino acids, which, in the form of proteins, are the biological basis for life as we know it," researchers explained in a news release.

The infant star system, IRAS 16293-2422, has previously yielded evidence of sugar molecules.

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Hubble captures image of galaxy passing behind star

Hubble photo of galaxy behind starWhen astronomers talk about transits, most often they're discussing the path of a planet across the face of its host star.

But the cosmos host all sorts of transits. The Hubble Space Telescope captured a unique transit, the passage of a massive galaxy behind a sun-like star that is positioned much closer to Earth.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria first emerged at least 450 million years ago

drug resistamt bacteria go back 450m yearsSuperbugs, or enterococci bacteria, have been honing their defensive capabilities for at least 450 million years.

As a new survey of the evolution of antibiotic resistance revealed, the earliest relatives of modern superbugs -- microbes undeterred by antibiotics -- emerged prior to the arrival of the dinosaurs.

"By analyzing the genomes and behaviors of today's enterococci, we were able to rewind the clock back to their earliest existence and piece together a picture of how these organisms were shaped into what they are today," researcher Ashlee M. Earl, leader of the Bacterial Genomics Group at the Broad Institute, said in a news release. "Understanding how the environment in which microbes live leads to new properties could help us to predict how microbes will adapt to the use of antibiotics, antimicrobial hand soaps, disinfectants and other products intended to control their spread."

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